Steam Reaches 14 Million Concurrent Users For First Time Ever

In its 13 year history Steam has been slowly growing its number of users, but as PC gaming has taken off over the past few years, Steam’s user base has soared. Back in 2012 Steam had only 5 million concurrent users, so has seen impressive growth over the past five years, with around 2 million of the additional 9 million users joining the platform in the past year alone, with concurrent users back in January 2015 at 12 million. All told then Steam has become a juggernaut in PC gaming, and its domination looks set to continue.

As of January 7th, 2017, Steam passed 14 million concurrent users, peaking at 14,207,039. Now, what exactly does that mean? Obviously, the number is impressive in its own right, but it should be noted that concurrent users don’t equate to the number of people actually playing a game. Instead, this means the number of people who have Steam running, whether they’re using the platform or doing something else entirely.

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It’s a crazy amount of people, and some further stats have given insight into what the most popular games were when Steam hit its peak. Dota 2 was, of course, the game with the highest concurrent player base, with 951,063 players at the peak time. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive followed with a sharp drop to 673,607 concurrent players, with Grand Theft Auto V bringing up the rear at 116,228 concurrent players. It gives us a good idea as to what’s the most popular game to play on Steam, with Dota 2’s dominance in e-sports clearly translating to a mega player base.

The timing for this new record makes perfect sense. Following the undoubted success of its Winter sale, Steam will have likely gained a whole lot of new users looking to take advantage of their bargains. Indeed, older games such as the original The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Garry’s Mod were amongst some of the most played games when the userbase hit its peak, no doubt spurred on by heavy discounts in the sales. In fact, when Steam revealed the top selling games of 2016 recently, older games dominated the list, indicating the effect Steam’s tempting discounts have on revitalising games which would have otherwise been left in the dust.

Steam Concurrent Players

Unfortunately, the bottom of the list doesn’t pose as much fun as I thought it would, with mostly games yet to be released logging at the bottom with one player, undoubtedly the developer getting things ready, so the entertainment at seeing who ranked at the bottom of the list will have to be left for another day.


Joe was definitely one of the 14 million users on Steam when it hit its peak, as he lamented over the process of downloading 66GBs of Grand Theft Auto V. When he eventually does download it though, expect him to be talking about it @resonantrevs on Twitter.

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